'Permission to Dance' Songwriter Jenna Andrews Talks Working With BTS

Happy New Music Friday! It’s every audiophile’s favorite day of the week, and some of our favorite artists from all different genres have blessed us with new tunes.

BTS thrilled fans with the release of their second English-language single of the summer, following up “Butter” with their next sunny jam, “Permission to Dance.” Both tracks were co-written by songwriter/producer Jenna Andrews, who offered an exclusive look at how the magical music process came together.

As it turns out, it was Andrews who came up with the magical hook that kicks off the double-platinum hit “Butter,” when she, songwriter/producer Steve Mac and the members of BTS shared notes in virtual brainstorming sessions, due to pandemic restrictions. 

“We held a bunch of trial and error sessions… until one night, where [producer Ron Grimaldi] said that they were looking for something similar to Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal,'” she told ET via email. “The first thing that popped into my head was ‘smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover.’ It came completely from instinct… From that point, we knew that we had something very special.”

“The next question was, how do we make this special for the BTS guys? We all thought that the ’90s references in some of the lyrics were really fun so we looked to old Usher songs, we bounced off other Michael Jackson-related themes as well, we just really wanted to have fun with it,” Andrews continued, noting that the process took a couple months in total to finalize the song and make sure “everyone involved [loved] the track equally.” 

“RM was a huge contributor to a lot of the writing,” she added. “It was his idea to include the rap section at the end and that decision, in my mind, completed the song. The cherry on top.”


A post shared by Jenna Andrews (@thejennaandrews)

After the mega success of “Butter,” Andrews was invited by BigHit Entertainment to team up with BTS once again for “Permission to Dance,” which was also co-written by Ed Sheeran, through more virtual brainstorming sessions with the BTS group members. “Even though it was a very odd way to work, we made it happen through our little network by passing our notes back and forth and it turned out to be perfect in the end,” she recalled.

The super-fun English-language pop track, which encourages listeners that they “don’t need permission to dance,” already has nearly 60 million views on YouTube, less than 24 hours after the song’s release. And Andrews says the support from fans of the K-pop group is “absolutely incredible.”

“It feels surreal, and I could not be more grateful,” she raved. “Even watching the ‘Permission to Dance’ video last night, I was overwhelmed and proud of the music that we created, truly blessed. It’s been such a crazy and horrible time over this last year with the pandemic and I really hope that records like these can spread joy and brightness into people’s lives.”

That message is certainly in sync with the positivity that BTS says they hope to bring their devoted ARMY with every track, and Andrews says she’d “of course” love to team up with the group again in the future.

“I wish I could work with them forever,” she said. “They’ve changed my life to say the least. I absolutely adore the boys and the entire BigHit family, so I’m crossing my fingers that we can continue this great thing that we have going.”

“Seeing the positive reception worldwide has completely blown my mind,” she added. “Even going back and forth with ARMY on Twitter and other platforms and receiving their approval and support has been so surreal. I can truly say that I’m reaching people all across the world with my art, and that’s inspiring me to push harder and harder to keep that going.”

And she shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to her BTS hits, Andrews also worked on the Galantis/Little Mix/David Guetta collab, “Heartbreak Anthem,” which peaked at No. 3 on the UK singles chart, as well as the new Dillon Francis track, “Love Me Better” and the lead single for the upcoming animated film My Little Pony: A New Generation, which comes out Sept. 24 on Netflix.

“I’ve been keeping my foot on the gas to say the least,” she shared. “I’m trying to keep a forward momentum while also keeping myself busy and creatively inspired, and I’m trying to do that by working with as many of my fellow creatives as possible.”

This week’s new music releases also include “NDA,” Billie Eilish’s latest single from her upcoming album, Happier Than Ever; Jennifer Lopez’s sunny summer collab with Rauw Alejando, “Cambio el Paso;” and Post Malone’s first solo release since his acclaimed 2019 album Hollywood’s Burning — a new single titled “Motley Crew.”

The Space Jam: A New Legacy soundtrack also officially dropped, featuring tracks by Lil Baby, Kirk Franklin, Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, 24kGoldn, Chance the Rapper, John Legend, Saweetie, Leon Bridges, Anthony Ramos, Big Freedia, BROCKHAMPTON and more.

Plus, new tunes from Nicki Minaj, Maluma, The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber, Vince Staples, Sufjan Stevens and more!

Read on for some of our favorite recommendations for new songs and albums to listen to this week — plus, where you can stream them now!

“Permission to Dance” – BTS


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“NDA” – Billie Eilish


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Motley Crew” – Post Malone


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

Space Jam: A New Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Cambio el Paso” – Jennifer Lopez & Rauw Alejandro


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Stay” – The Kid LAROI with Justin Bieber


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Sobrio” – Maluma


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“WHOLE LOTTA MONEY [Remix]” – BIA feat. Nicki Minaj


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

Vince Staples – Vince Staples


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Memory” – Kane Brown & Blackbear


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Reach Out” / “Olympus” – Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Off Of My Mind” – Icona Pop & VIZE


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“The Way You Felt” – Alec Benjamin


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“The Jackie” – Bas with J. Cole & Lil TJay


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

blue – Baby Ariel


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Summer Fling” – Nina Nesbitt


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“love and hate” – Camylio


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“dumb dumb” – mazie


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Zero Trucks” – Alana Springsteen


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

Terracotta – Lex Leosis


Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

“Juliet” – Chrisol

Stream it now: Amazon / Apple / Spotify

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